Understanding the Passover and Good Friday

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever'” (Exodus 12:21-24)

The year was 1445 B.C. and Amenhotep II was pharaoh over Egypt. His father, Thutmose III and other pharaohs before him had afflicted the Israelite’s for 400 years. God was now ready for His children to exit the land. So, through His servant Moses, He gave instructions to prepare the children of Israel to leave Egypt.

In this article, I would like to highlight just a few words that pertain to this perennial memorial: the LORD, the LAMB, the BLOOD and FOREVER:

I. THE LORD. This is one of the primary names of God in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament). It originally was composed of 4 letters: YHWH (יהוה), believed to be pronounced as Jehovah or Yahweh. It speaks of the eternality and self-existence of God – – the ever living One! It is the LORD who brought His children out of their bondage as well as the One who gave direction for their deliverance. Salvation is not achieved by any of man’s ingenuities and/or power. It is all of God – – and God alone!

II. THE LAMB. This lamb was to be unblemished and its blood was to be spilled and applied to the doorposts of the ones who would be delivered.

It was a sacrificial animal that would actually become a substitute for the ones offering it.

III. THE BLOOD. Why, then, did God require blood? May I suggest that blood is the most valuable of all gifts one can present to God. Losing it is tantamount to losing one’s life. The Book of Leviticus states it rather clearly,  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ (Leviticus 17:11)

IV. FOREVER. This memorial will continue to be celebrated even during the Kingdom age to come. So writes the prophet Ezekiel  “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall observe the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. (Ezekiel 45:21)

So, Passover is a perpetual memorial of the LORD passing over the ones whose blood of the sacrificial lamb had been applied to their lives for their deliverance.  This is the Passover, this is Pesach! פֶּסַח

How, then, is this Passover related to Good Friday? The rabbinic scholar, Saul of Tarsus explains: “For indeed Christ (Greek word for Messiah, the anointed One), our Passover was sacrificed for us” (from the New Covenant or Testament, First Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7). In other words, He Himself became the sacrifice and substitution for us. His blood was shed in our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins and our eternal deliverance. The Book of Hebrews states it very plainly, And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (or forgiveness)(Hebrews 9:22)

Good Friday is the memorial to thank God for sending His Son (Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 30:4), the Messiah, to atone for our sins. He became our substitute and sacrificial Lamb. It was on the cross He took our curse upon Himself (who was without sin) and shed His priceless blood.

If you will believe that the Anointed One shed His blood for your sins, He will deliver you from the bondage of sin and give you everlasting life. Yes, Good Friday is the completion or fulfillment of the Passover!

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